Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Weekend Recap: at Buffalo Creek, at Rochester

In their third double-header weekend in five weeks, the Newtown Golden Eagles hit the road for a weekend of regular season away games, Friday night at the Cazenovia Ice Rink against the Buffalo Creek Thunder and a Sunday matinee at the Canandaigua Civic Center against the Rochester Greywolves.
Friday night's contest was a chippy one from start to finish as is often the case when these two teams meet.  Newtown jumped out to an early lead as LeRoy Halftown (5,2) found the net twice to go along with a single goal from Brian Stevens (1,1) and a first period hat-trick from Preston Lay (4,2).  The NGE would hold a 6-2 lead at the end of the first.

The second period was more of the same.  Although the Golden Eagles found themselves man-down multiple times during the period they managed to keep finding the net as LeRoy Halftown scored three more and defender Ryan Maciaszek (3,2) added two transition goals. CJ Stevens (1,0) added his second of the season on an odd-man rush.  After dominating the draw circle for most of the game Linden Stevens (2,4) added two tallies and Preston Lay capped off his four goal night.  The period ended 15-6 NGE.

The third and final period showed Newtown's versatility as they had Kori Halftown (1,2)Chancey Hill (1,2), Rudi George (1,0), and Morgan Montour (1,1) all add one a piece.  Maciaszek ended the game with an empty netter in transition and the final read 20-10 Newtown.  The NGE then looked ahead to their next road contest in Rochester just 36 hours away.
Sunday afternoon the Golden Eagles made their way down I-90 to Canandaigua, NY to take on the recently relocated Rochester Greywolves.  Newtown struggled to find the rhythm on offense for the first half of the period but managed to get running by the end.  LeRoy Halftown (2,2) opened the scoring, Linden Stevens (1,2) added one along with Donald Stevens (1,3) and Morgan Montour (4,2) put in his first of four.  The Golden eagles led 4-1 at the break.

Chancey Hill (1,2), Rudi George (1,1), Ryan Maciaszek (1,1) and Tyler Strassburg (1,2) all added their goals in the opening half of the second. Bobby DeFreze (3,0) found the net for his first of the game on a 2-on-1 setup by a draw win by Linden Stevens and an assist from LeRoy Halftown. Brian Stevens (1,4) added a powerplay goal from the point and Montour buried from the slot to end the period 11-4 Newtown.

Linden Stevens kept dominating the faceoff circle for the second game in a row and although Rochester was dropping extra guys in the defensive zone for draws, the Golden Eagles kept finding lanes to squeeze passes through and setup scorers on the crease.  LeRoy Halftown capped off his scoring as did DeFreze with two more inside finishes.  Montour finished a display of outside shooting with two more to end the game, the last one coming with just 12 seconds left on the clock.  The defensive unit tied it's lowest goals against of the season with solid contributions from Levi Thomas, Ross John, Darby Leroy, Craig Stevens, CJ Stevens, Josh Kacprzak, and Jake Davis.  The effort was anchored by goaltender Clint Jones who also added an assist. Newtown took the contest 16-2 to advance to 8-0 at the halfway point of the season.

The team looks forward to a single home game this weekend as they will take on the Allegany Arrows at the Gil Lay Arena, Saturday 7pm.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Newtown vs. Six Nations

After the cancellation of Friday night's away contest, the Golden Eagles only had one game to focus on for the weekend.  The Six Nations Slash crossed the border to meet the NGE on the Gil Lay turf at 7pm Saturday night.  

The first period opened with a few uneventful possessions by each team as both squads briefly struggled to find their rhythm on offense.  The Slash opened the scoring with a two on one breakaway but would not maintain the lead long.  Newtown found the net on two breakaways of their own as Jake Davis (1,0) and Linden Stevens (1,4) both capitalized on outlet passes starting in the defensive end.  New transfer Chancey Hill (3,2) added the first of his three, Tyler Strassburg (2,1) added one, and Ryan Maciaszek (1,1) capped off the period with a hidden ball trick goal that had the defense expecting a pass from goalie Neil Schindler (0,1) as the ball hit the net. The first ended 5-3 Newtown.

The Golden Eagles started the second period on the power play and made quick use of it as Drew Stevens (2,1) buried from in tight after some tic-tac-toe passing from the man up unit.  Brian Stevens (1,4) added a goal on an outside shot and Lyle Stevens (2,0) scored the first of his two breakaway goals. Kori Halftown (2,1) added one of his two to the total and Bobby DeFreze (3,3) found the net twice in the period, the second coming on a behind the back shot off a feed from Preston Lay (0,4). They led 13-8 at the final intermission.

In the third period Newtown would hold steady and allow only two goals.  Hill and DeFreze each capped off their hat tricks and defender Josh Kacprzak (1,2) added his second breakaway tally of the season while Lyle Stevens added his second of the game. In the final minutes the NGE controlled the tempo, satisfied with their 19-10 victory and no injuries or suspensions.

The Golden Eagles look ahead to a road double-header weekend as they will face Buffalo Creek at 8pm Friday and then travel east to meet Rochester at 3pm Sunday.                      

Monday, May 13, 2013

Newtown at Allegany

Newtown wrapped up their double-header weekend with a road trip to Salamanca to take on the Allegany Arrows at the ACC.  With only 15 runners it would be Newtown's second short-benched game in a row.

Starting goaltender Clint Jones was given a well-deserved day off and backup Neil Schindler stepped up for the start.  It was all Newtown from start to finish.  Faceoff man Linden Stevens (1,4) setup multiple odd-man rushes in the first, winning the draws to himself then finding an open teammate cutting to the net.  Bobby DeFreze (5,1) opened the scoring on an underhand skip shot from 10 yards out and would bury four of his five goals in the first.  Returning to his hometown arena for the first time this year, Rudi George (3,2) added two of his three and the period would end 11-1 in favor of the NGE.

Newtown opened the second with a quick goal by Tyler Strassburg (2,2) as Linden Stevens once again won the draw to himself and hit the open man.  It was then the defense's turn to get in on the scoring as Lyle Stevens (3,1), Jake Davis (2,2), and Levi Thomas (1,1) all found the net in the second. Kori Halftown (3,2) put one over the goalie's shoulder from an extreme angle catching and shooting from the goal line extended on one of eight assists from lefty Preston Lay (2,8).  LeRoy Halftown (2,2) scored both of his goals in the second, and the period ended 20-2 Newtown.

In the third the Golden Eagles took the foot off the gas as the running time made the period fly by.  Drew Stevens (1,7) added a goal to his assist total and DeFreze, K. Halftown, and George capped off their scoring with one a piece.  Ross John, Trace White, and Josh Kacprzak anchored the defense that gave up only 2 goals.  After a few merciful crease calls nullified Newtown goals, the NGE were content to just work the clock and leave with the win.  Final score: 25 to 2.  

This week Newtown prepares for another double-header weekend as they take on the Tonawanda Braves at Logan Field in Pembroke Friday night at 8pm and the Six Nations Slash Saturday at 7pm in a home contest at the Gil Lay Arena.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Tuscarora at Newtown

For the second Friday in a row the crowded Gil Lay Arena gave fans an exciting CanAm matchup as the Tuscarora Tomahawks met the Newtown Golden Eagles on the turf at 8pm.  A tough and physical 4 game playoff series in the 2012 assured that there is no love lost between these two teams.

After the late game incident against Onondaga last Friday, the NGE were missing 5 runners due to suspension.  Dressing 16 runners and 2 goalies, the short benched team came into the game knowing it wouldn't be easy against a team they played 6 times last year.  The quickly growing rivalry got off to a slow start as both teams struggled to find quality shots early.  The three Tuscarora goals in the first were answered one by one as Preston Lay (3,0) netted a first period hat-trick to tie the game for his team.

The second period saw more back and forth scoring as Rudi George (3,0) and Tyler Strassburg (1,3) found the net.  2012 Defender of the Year Josh Kacprzak (1,0) tallied a breakaway goal and Drew Stevens (2,1) added a short-handed goal to put Newtown up 9-7 at the final break. 

In the third period it was a tale of power plays and penalty kills as both teams would find themselves dealing with a little of each.  After trading goals, the NGE found themselves down a man for both two and four minutes almost back-to-back.  During this stretch the Penalty Kill allowed only 1 goal with netminder Clint Jones making clutch save after save as the Tomahawks threatened to tie.  The NGE appeared to take a 2 goal lead that was called back on a crease-violation.  A high hit after the play and following scrum resulted in the NGE on a 4-on-3 powerplay.  Bobby DeFreze (1,1) found the net on an overhand shot and Newtown would maintain the lead from there.  Rudi George sealed his hat-trick and the game, as the NGE finished with a 12-9 victory.

Brian Stevens added six assists as well as four from Donald Stevens. The Golden Eagles finished with 29 penalty minutes. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Onondaga at Newtown

In a game that saw both teams combine for 142 penalty minutes, you would expect a slow pace full of stoppages.  This was anything but true as the Onondaga Redhawks clashed with the Newtown Golden Eagles for the first time this season.

The two perennial top teams met on the Gil Lay turf for a rare late-night Friday matchup that did not faceoff till around 8:50pm in front of the large crowd of CanAm fans.  Both teams honored the late, great Nelson "Bally" Huff prior to gametime.  The NGE dedicated the game and the remainder of the 2013 season to Bally Huff, a hall-of-fame lacrosse legend from Newtown who recently passed on.  (More on Mr. Huff following the recap)

The opening period was a battle right off the bat with both teams playing physical and fast.  It was clear from the starting whistle that every loose ball would be a battle as emotions and intensity ran high.  It was also clear that goals would come at a premium with an excellent goalie backing each of the stout defensive units.  Newtown came away from the first period with a narrow 3-2 lead.  One official commented that in just the second week of the season, both teams were playing in mid-year form.

The second period began with a bang for the Golden Eagles as Kori Halftown netted a breakaway goal right off the opening faceoff to stretch the lead to two.  The remainder of the period saw successful powerplays by each team and the back and forth scoring saw the NGE add 2 more goals to their lead and end the second 8-4.

Knowing that no lead is safe against the rival Redhawks, the NGE focused on taking care of the ball in the third period, trying to control the tempo and use the full 30 second shot clock on offense to allow their hard working D to catch their breath.  With 6 minutes left in the game, what started as a loose ball scrum ended in a pile of fired up lacrosse players.  Rookie forward LeRoy Halftown took a high check to the facemask and his teammates took exception, resulting in a 4 on 4 tussle that saw eight players hit the turf, with both officials joining them to sort it out.  The result of the incident was five Newtown players being sent off early, along with four Redhawks.  Down to thirteen runners, it made substitutions interesting for the home team.  Newtown used the shortened benches to their advantage as they sent their remaining stick handlers out of the front door to spread the floor and work the clock.  The final result was a hard-fought 10-6 victory for the NGE, and the promise of an exciting rematch July 5th.

Preston Lay led all scorers with 2 goals and 3 assists.  In his first game back this season Brian Stevens netted 2g, 2a, and 2012 Team MVP Linden Stevens added 4 points with a goal and 3 assists.  The Golden Eagles accumulated 68 pims which was second to the 74 pims by the Redhawks.

Nelson "Bally" Huff
The remainder of the 2013 season will be dedicated to Mr. Nelson "Bally" Huff.  It will be commemorated with a special decal worn by the players containing "BH" and "7", his initials and jersey #.  He was inducted into the Ontario Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2005 and is regarded as one of the greatest offensive players of his era. Played Juniors with the Newtown Athletics in the late 30's and moved up to the men's team at the age of 16. One of the first box lacrosse players to pass and shoot right or left handed with equal accuracy and power. In 1943 Bally joined the US Navy to serve in WWII. NAMLA Scoring champ in '50, '51, '52, '53.  League MVP in '50 & '51. Served as a role model for many young players through his dedication and commitment to a lifestyle-culture that respects and honors lacrosse as a gift from the creator. He has carried this tradition as a player, coach, fan and supporter. We would like to extend our deepest condolences & sympathy to the family & friends Bally.  Your years of dedicated commitment to the NGE will be greatly missed.